Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán admitted in a closed party meeting last week that he had ordered Ramil Safarov to be transferred back to Azerbaijan despite the fact that he was aware that Safarov would be released sooner or later, Origo.hu reports, citing two separate unnamed sources close to the government and Fidesz.
According to the report, Orbán had been repeatedly warned by his fellow party members and advisors of the risks such a move involved but the prime minister was looking to make a gesture toward the Azeris in an effort to secure new creditors to buoy up Hungary’s ailing budget.
During the meeting, which turned into a heated debate, Orbán acknowledged that he knew “there would be trouble” but expected Safarov to be pardoned only months later for “health reasons.”
Despite protestations by Tibor Navaracsics and repeated warnings by justice ministry experts, Orbán in August went ahead and ordered the transfer agreement to be signed.
Origo said the government politicians it asked for comment agreed that the incident was “awkward” or “tacky” (ciki) but shared the prime minister’s opinion that the best way to handle the situation was to practically ignore the whole case.